Juanita May Hunter

Juanita Ryse Hunter, beloved matriarch of five generations of strong women, died November 19, 2013, in Lawrence, Kansas.

Juanita was born May 3, 1917 in St. Joseph, Missouri the first child of Bessie Wilcox and Louis Ryse. Juanita was an independent woman who lived her 96 years with gusto and style. Until very recently she lived in her own home and even drove herself to church on occasion. Within the last two years Juanita was active with her daughter and son in law on their annual trek to the Florida panhandle to help count snakes, frogs and alligators. She was a favorite of the herpetological students and researchers who loved watching her work her way through the bush using a snake stick for a walking staff.

Juanita was always engaged in life, foremost with her family, friends and church, but also enjoying her dog, crocheting, or reading a good book. She was Commander of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Jayhawk Disabled American Veterans in Lawrence. Juanita loved a good conversation, a good party and was not shy about her own feelings and opinions. She was a loving lady whose sweetness and generosity was balanced with a touch of salt and vinegar, all of which made her a delightful person.

Juanita is survived by her daughter, Suzanne L. Collins, of Lawrence; her granddaughter, Nancy Cook Weaver of Little Rock, Arkansas; her great-granddaughter, Chelsea Varnell and Jamie of Batesville, Arkansas. Great-great granddaughter Laiken Varnell completes the chain of five generations.

Juanita’s brother, Roy Ryse, survives in Eugene, Oregon; Sister Katherine Paitkowski and husband, Casey of Naples, Florida, brother in law Jack Duncan of Plano, Texas.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 1:00pm at St. Joseph Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Joseph, Missouri.

5 Condolences

  1. Darrel Frost on November 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    A strong woman who raised another. I don’t know what a bigger legacy could be. Very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts. — Darrel

  2. Tammie Cummings on November 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    So sorry for your loss of this beautiful lady. May GOD see you threw this difficult time. I only had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Hunter one time, at Chelsea’s wedding. She left an impression on me of a very strong an pleasant lady. This lives on in her daughter Nancy and granddaughter Chelsea, two people I love dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
    Tammie Cummings

  3. Sue and Jon Heupel on November 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    It is with great joy that I can say I met Juanita. It is with sorrow that I mourn her loss. We will miss you mom. Our hearts go out to you Suzanne.

  4. Pam Stephens on November 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Nancy and Chelsea…I’m so sorry for your loss…my thoughts are with you and your entire family.

  5. Pastor Dan Norwood on November 24, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Our prayers go out to all who grieve and remember Juanita. She was much loved and respected in our worship community at Centenary UMC. Blessings, Pastor Dan

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